According to recent data from the Social Security Administration, there were nearly 3.4 million Social Security Disability claims made in fiscal year 2011, about two-thirds of which were initially denied. In turn, applicants made nearly 900,000 SSD appeals to the hearing level during the year. It is unknown how many of those appeals were successful, but one thing is clear: for many SSD applicants, an appeal is a necessary step in receiving those much-needed disability benefits.
If your initial SSD claim has been denied, you may be unsure of where to turn next. While every applicant’s situation is different, there are a few things that you should try not to do following a denial of a Social Security Disability application.
First, do not give up. Here at our Los Angeles Social Security Disability law firm, we are well aware of the complications and frustrations that are inherent in the SSD application and appeal process. However, try not to let the process overwhelm you, and seek help if you need it.
Second, do not miss the deadline for filing your appeal, and don’t reapply for SSD benefits at the initial claim level. Although there is a chance that a second application will be approved, there is a better chance that you will have a successful appeal. Therefore, it is probably better to go that route.
Third, do not fail to provide enough information, especially regarding the ailment or disability for which you are seeking SSD benefits. Include details about your medical treatment and about the effects of your disability on your ability to work. It may be helpful to get a statement from a third party, such as a doctor or employer, to verify your information.
We will continue this discussion in a second blog post next week.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “Social Security Disability Appeals Reached New Record in 2011,” Feb. 7, 2011